One of the natural qualities of pure silver is that it is highly tarnish-resistant. Pure silver, however, is far too soft for use in everyday jewellery. You will often find pure silver being used to mint coins, but sterling silver has been the standard in the jewellery industry since the 14th century. Sterling silver is a metal alloy comprising 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals – most typically copper.
This alloy, commonly known in the trade as 925 Sterling Silver, is far more durable as a metal, and therefore much better suited to everyday use in jewellery. This increased resilience does not come without a cost – the natural tarnish resistance of silver is slightly reduced.
The small percentage of copper in the sterling silver alloy is far more susceptible to tarnishing. It will oxidise when it reacts with other elements, such as sulphur. This reaction will cause the ordinarily shiny white metal to develop a green coloured layer called a patina.
This is a natural chemical reaction that cannot be stopped.
As your sterling silver jewellery comes into contact with more chemicals – found in common everyday items such as deodorants, perfumes, oils & lotions, and even sun cream – the tarnishing process can accelerate.
Whilst this process is natural, there are some simple ways that you can care for your jewellery to maintain the silver lustre that we know and love.
If you find that your sterling silver has developed an unhealthy looking tarnish, you can buy cleaning products online that will help to restore it to its former beauty.
There are also some home remedies you might be able to try:
Remember, just like all the things we care about; you need to look after your silver jewellery; prevention is always better than cure. One of the best ways to prevent sterling silver from tarnishing is simply by wearing and enjoying your jewellery. Natural oils on your skin can help to keep the silver clean and maintain its brilliance.
Try to avoid wearing it when performing household chores, and put your jewellery on last to avoid contact with beauty products or perfumes.
Just a small amount of attention and care will give you a lifetime of enjoyment from your unique and personal piece.
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At Dolce Valentina personalised jewellery specialists, we value our customers. We’re happy to answer any questions. Check out Silver Care Tips for the best way to maintain your personalised jewellery.
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